Monday, December 14, 2009
Last month I woke up with this great idea - why don't I make one Christmas gift or ornament each day in December until Christmas. Well, then I drank my first cup of coffee, slapped myself on the cheek and said loudly "get real woman!" A moment of temporary creative insanity once again cured by caffeine! However, I did dig out lots of old projects and tried to make a point of finished up some before the holidays. Now that I can do....
So first is this wild "Santa does Rodeo" fabric that I just had to have when it went on sale for a couple of dollars a yard...of course that was several years ago. (And for those folks South of the Equator I don't think Father Christmas would sit a bucking bronco...it has to be Santa for that !) Anyway, this year I took it out and made three reversible aprons. (My father-in-law loves to cook and loves westerns so I'm hoping with his warped sense of humor he will like the apron!)
I also made another Christmas table-runner. Some of these fabrics aren't all that old but were leftovers from an earlier Christmas project so I prevented them from going into the bits and bobs stash in the back of the closet. The top for this table-runner came together in about 2-hours...sometimes a quick finish feels good. I have to quilt and bind it tonight since it is going to a silent auction for the local humane society this week.
Why so productive? It is cold and wet and did I mention COLD outside? Even Macbeth balks at the front door when it is time for his walk. To keep the cold outside I've also been working in the kitchen. I try to find some new recipes each Christmas but do test runs on them early the month. This year I was trying to come up with a Christmas cake that we used to get at an old bakery in Boston when I was growing up. It was sort of a cross between a pound cake and a fruit cake. So with a few tweaks to the "Fruited Pound Cake" recipe on the Land O'Lakes site I am very, very close.
Avenue Bakery "Fruited Pound Cake"
(Adapted from the Land O'Lakes website)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
grated rind of one lemon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup mixed candied fruit, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, cream cheese and sugars in a bowl and beat at medium speed until mixed. Add 1-1/4 cups of flour, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and lemon peel. Beat until no lumps are visible. Stir in by hand the remaining 1 cup of flour, candied fruit, cranberries, raisins and pecans.
Pour into 2 greased 8 by 4 inch pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan and allow to cool completely before wrapping. (This is best the day after it is baked...)